Just What the World Needs: Another Credit Card

15. June 2018.

American Express just launched the millennial-focused Cash Magnet Card, according to Marketwatch. Interestingly enough, in a market where the Chase Sapphire card competes aggressively with the American Express’ iconic Platinum card, Cash Magnet faces off directly with the Chase Freedom mass market plastic.

So many choices, so many options. American Express offers 18 current credit card options; not to be outdone, Chase has 26 consumer options. In a city such as New York, credit manager career paths often cycle between American Express, Citi and Chase, so it is not unexpected to see cross-pollination for features, and touch and feel. This latest card looks like it came from Citi or Chase with the bold blue color, sans the high profile Centurion.

We will have to see how the features evolve, but for now, Magnet only will give cashback to the account rather than funding a checking account. This is a “so what” variance, but I suppose some people like it.

  • There is no cap on the amount of cashback cardholders can earn. And cardholders earn the cash on all types of purchases, not just ones in certain categories like groceries or restaurant meals.

  • AmEx created the Magnet card partly in response to customer demand for cards with perks that are easy to understand.

Not too sure about the Amex plan to provide “easy to understand” perks; I am a boomer not a millennial. My take is that if you do not look into the features, as you make this important financial commitment, you really shouldn’t be alloweded to use a credit card in the first place.

The news story throws in some marketing mumbo jumbo talking about the millennial mindset of being able to use rewards, but at the end of the day, this looks like a nice, standard credit card. Chase should take note as they end cardholder perks. In the 40 years I have been in payments, American Express has always been a fierce and effective competitor. This is not the time to wipe out perks, particularly as American Express recently announced their commitment. Watch out for attrition on the Chase Freedom card with this one.

At American Express, this is another step beyond the cherished FICO Score 760+ segment, so keep an eye on revolvers!

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